#0909: Hyperion

HYPERION

AVENGERS INFINITE

Hyperion1

In 1969, the writers of Justice League of America and The Avengers decided to do an unofficial cross-over. The JLA fought a team of villains resembling the Avengers, and the Avengers fought the Squadron Sinister, a parody of the JLA. The Squadron was successful enough to get their own heroic counterparts, the Squadron Supreme, who came from an alternate universe. The leader of both versions of the Squadron was Superman expy Hyperion. While the villainous Hyperion has been dead for a while, the heroic version has made fairly consistent reappearances throughout the years. He’s gotten a pair of figures, both in the last few years. Today, I’ll be looking at his smaller-scale figure from 2014.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hyperion2Hyperion was released in the first series of Avengers Infinite, the line that would eventually be given the more generic Marvel Infinite title, and then just recently re-named Marvel Legends. The figure stands 4 ½ inches tall and has 27 points of articulation. He’s based on the basic Hyperion design, after he ditched the domino mask he sported in his earlier appearances. Structurally, he’s nominally based on the body used by the Marvel Universe Cable figure, but he gets a lot of his own pieces. The figure looks pretty decent overall, but some of the pieces don’t fit together as well as they should. The real offender is the pelvis, which is too skinny for the rest of the body, causing the legs to jut out at the hips, and the upper torso to have an odd gap in the middle. Other than that, the sculpt is actually pretty nice. The head is probably one of Hasbro’s best in this line, and is perfect for the character. Hyperion’s paint is pretty decent overall, but does have a few trouble areas. The neckline is rather sloppy, and doesn’t match the molded color of the rest of the neck. Also, the shorts are gold, despite the boots and cape being yellow, and those three elements being traditionally depicted as the same color. It’s not super far off, but it does look a little weird. On the plus side, the face paint is nice and clean, and his logo is really sharp.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I like Hyperion well enough, I didn’t pick this figure up new, due to wanting his series-mates Wasp and Grim Reaper more. I saw him at the store a few times, but was never really prompted to pick him up. So, why do I have him? I found him, new and in-box, at a Goodwill of all places, for $1.99. At a fraction of retail price, I felt he was worth it. He’s not the most exciting figure of all time, but he’s a solid addition to my 3 ¾ inch Marvel collection.

#0520: The Beast

THE BEAST

AVENGERS INFINITE

GreyBeast1

So, here’s a fact a few people reading probably don’t know: though he debuted and has been a prominent member of the X-Men, the first real bit of notoriety gained by Hank McCoy, aka the Beast, was his admission into the Avengers in Avengers #137. Since then, he’s kind of pin-balled back and forth between the two teams. Due to licensing and such with Fox, he’s generally paired up with the X-Men for merchandising, so most people think of him with them. I myself actually prefer him with the Avengers, but that’s just me. Anyway, Beast just wound up with not one but two new figures in Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite line, and I picked one of them up. Let’s see how he turned out.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreyBeast2Beast (or “Marvel’s Beast” as he’s listed on the package) was released in the 5th Series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite line. The packaging seems to be exclusively referring to this line as “Marvel Infinite” and the character selection is actually pretty sparse on true Avengers figures, but Hasbro seems pretty dead set that the actual name of the line is Avengers Infinite. They know best, so I’m just gonna trust them. The figure is roughly 4 inches tall, with 19 points of articulation. The figure lacks wrist and waist articulation, with is rather annoying, especially for a character like Beast. It seems Hasbro is trying to cut down articulation on the smaller line to save costs. Beast was available in two versions: Blue and Grey. At first it may seem like just a paint swap, but the figures are actually pretty different. If you couldn’t tell from the pictures, the one I’m looking at is the Grey Beast figure, which is the rarer of the two. The look is based upon Beast’s initial furry appearance, during his short solo series. By the time he appeared in Avengers, his fur color had been changed to blue, and he stuck with that. Over the years, Beast has become bulkier and more feral, but this sculpt takes him back to the basics. The sculpt is all-new to this figure (though many of the pieces are shared with his blue counterpart) and it’s quite well done. Beast is bigger than others in the line, but not gargantuan; he has the stocky strongman look that the character sported into the 80s or so. The proportions are all pretty much what they should be, something AI and its predecessor Marvel Universe have been known to struggle with in the past. The figure is coated almost from head to toe in a furry texture that is really well rendered and sells the characters beastly nature quite nicely. All of this is topped off by a head sculpt that is a near perfect translation of the “Classic Beast” style head. For all the expert work that was done on the sculpt, the paint is a bit sparse. The figure mostly relies on the molded grey, with some flat blue for the shorts, and a few black and dark grey details. Most of the paint is on the head; the eyes and mouth are pretty good, and the hair’s not bad. There’s a random spot of black on the chin, which I feel certain isn’t supposed to be there. The only other paint is on the forearms, where his hair is painted black. There isn’t really any transition work, so he just has the big black spots on his arms, with looks weird. Overall, the paint’s not atrocious, but it could definitely be better. Beast includes no accessories.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Beast from Target. I was actually looking for some of the new Marvel Legends at the time, but I came across this guy and the rest of his series. I’ve been working on a MU Avengers display for a while, and being able to replace the existing Cat Beast with this guy was definitely nice. The figure really has some issues with paint, however the underlying sculpt is strong enough that it ends up saving the figure. And now I’m gonna sit here and wait for Hasbro to release this guy painted blue so that I can have a proper Classic Beast.

#0336: Marvel’s Wonder Man

MARVEL’S WONDER MAN

AVENGERS INFINITE

WonderManAI1

Is a rather commonly known fact that death in comics is far from a permanent thing. Characters die and come back at the drop of a hat. In some cases, the same character will do this several times. The usual go to example of such a character is Jean Grey, but in reality Jean’s only actually died and come back once. A great example is Simon Williams, aka Wonder Man (or Marvel’s Wonder Man, as the packaging would lead you to believe), a character who has died and returned no less than three times, which is actually impressive for a character who is relatively minor. When Kurt Busiek brough Simon back to life from his second death, he was given an extra set of “Ionic Powers” which manifested as a cool new energy look, just ripe for the toy form! This look was recently brought into toy form for the second time in Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

WonderManAI3Wonder Man was released as part of the fourth series of Avengers Infinite. He is the only actual Avenger in the line-up, so I guess he’s just there to maintain the name. The figure is about 4 inches in height and features 22 points of articulation. As mentioned in the intro, he’s based on the Ionic version of the character, which is what he looks like when he’s directly channeling his Ionic powers. Essentially, what this boils down to is that he’s a basic Wonder Man molded in a translucent blue/purple plastic. The figure is, head-to-toe, a complete re-use of the previous Wonder Man, released in the Marvel Universe line. Since I haven’t reviewed that figure yet, I may as well talk about the sculpt here. He makes use of the basic “larger male” buck that Hasbro used on the Wrecking Crew and the like, with the addition of a new head, plus wrist band and belt add-ons to make the figure more Wonder Man-specific. The body is one of the better base bodies that the MU line had to offer, and it’s a pretty good fit for Wonder Man. The head is a pretty great piece, and it captures Wonder Man’s personality pretty well. Technically, the belt and wrist bands aren’t accurate to the look, as they aren’t visible in his Ionic form, and they are even absent on all of the prototype shots, but here they are on the final figure. It’s hard to be mad at them for including extra pieces, but it does seem odd that they’d make use of unnecessary pieces. The figure features minimal paint, with details only for his eyes and logo. The eyes are clean, but the logo shows some pretty bad slop, especially on the shoulders. Wonder Man includes no accessories, but I can’t really think of anything he would need. Maybe a stand? Or a pointless missile launcher!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Kurt Busiek’s run on Avengers began just as I was starting to read comics on my own. I knew most of the characters already, but I didn’t know Wonder Man until Busiek brought him back. He quickly became one of my favorite Avengers, and in the last 20 years, I’ve managed to acquire every single figure of him. Okay, so there are only eight of them, but it’s still a thing. The MU version was my favorite version of the character for a while, so I certainly don’t mind having another figure built from the same pieces. Plus, he’s got that whole translucent plastic going for him, which is always cool! All in all, he’s a pretty cool figure, and he’s helped by the fact that he’s really the only new figure in series four.

WonderManAI4

#0302: Ant-Man

ANT-MAN

AVENGERS INFINITE

AntMan1

Avengers Infinite, which serves as Hasbro’s replacement for Marvel Universe, certainly has an interesting character selection. When it was first announced by Hasbro that MU was going to be rebranded with the Avengers name to make it more marketable, a lot of fans were worried that this would mean other areas of the Marvel universe would be left out. Given that, of the figures I’ve reviewed recently, there’s been one actual Avengers member (and a more recent one at that) and two characters not really related to the Avengers at all (not to mention the assortment also including Cyclops, who at this point is like the only X-Man NOT to be a member of the Avengers), I think it’s safe to say the “Avengers” section of the title is mostly a formality. Still, Hasbro is doing their best to keep the Avengers mainstays coming, as evidenced by today’s figure of founding Avenger Ant-Man.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

AntManWilsonAnt-Man is part of the third series of Avengers Infinite, which is just now starting to hit stores. Ant-Man was long rumored to be part of a two-pack in Marvel Universe before the line’s cancellation, but he never saw release. You guys sensing a common theme with this series of AI, because I sure am. According to the back of the box, he’s the Hank Pym version of the character, but it could just as easily be Scott Lang if you so desire. It’s mostly based on the character’s original design, although the helmet seems to be a bit more Ultimates inspired. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and sports 24 points of articulation. He’s built on the Black Spider-Man body, specifically the incarnation of it from the end of the MU line when they added the thigh cuts. The body is one of the older bodies from the MU line, and while it doesn’t such, it’s not the greatest. In a perfect world, Hasbro would come up with another “skinny” buck, but this one works okay in a pinch. Ant-Man’s only new piece is his head. I’m not a fan of The Ultimates, so I’d prefer a more classically inspired helmet, but this one’s not terrible. It’s well sculpted, and there are a lot of nice details, so that’s cool. There are holes where it looks like they meant to place antennae, but there’s nothing there. I guess they couldn’t get them to work feasibly. For the most part, Ant-Man is molded in red plastic, except for his head, which is skin tone. Everything else is handled via paint. The paint aps are overall pretty clean, though the red to blue transitions are a bit rough. They’ve chosen to give his straight gloves and boots instead of his usual jagged ones. It’s unfortunate, as it robs the figure of a unique design element. Ant-Man includes one accessory: a mini Ant-Man, similar to the mini Wasp included with her figure.

AntMan2 AntMan4

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Ant-Man is the fourth, and final, of the Avengers Infinite figures I picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. I’ve always been a pretty big Ant-Man fan, so I’ve been waiting for this figure since he was supposed to be in a two-pack way back in the MU line. I’m glad to finally have the figure, but he’s at best middle of the road. I’m more of a Scott Lang Ant-Man fan, and while this one works perfectly fine as Scott, I would mind seeing him get a figure based on either of his more recent designs.

AntMan3

#0301: Marvel’s Death’s Head

MARVEL’S DEATH’S HEAD

AVENGERS INFINITE

DeathsHead1

Would you believe me if I told you that I had definitive proof that Transformers and Doctor Who share the same universe with just about every Marvel Comics super hero? Because they do, thanks to a set of appearances by one character: Death’s Head. As you clearly see in the title, he’s Marvel’s Death’s Head (which has two possessives. If I want to talk about the clasp on his cape, I’m talking about Marvel’s Death’s Head’s cape’s clasp. Think about that for a while…). Death’s Head was created for a Transformers comic while Marvel held the license. Not wanting to potentially lose a unique character to Hasbro, they quickly created a short strip featuring the character that was published in several of the comics in their UK line. Marvel also happened to be publishing a Doctor Who comic at the time, which also saw an appearance from Death’s Head before he finally made his way to the main Marvel universe. Now, 27 years after his original appearance, he’s finally gotten his very own action figure made by…. Hasbro. How about that?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DeathsHeadWilsonDeath’s Head was part of the second series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite, the line which serves as a replacement for Marvel Universe. He was long rumored to be an upcoming figure in the MU line, so following that line’s cancellation, the figure’s fate was uncertain. Fortunately, he found a home in AI, so everybody still has a chance to have a toy of their favorite tri-dimensional bounty hunter. He stands just over 4 inches in height and features 27 points of articulation. Death’s Head makes use of the MU Colossus body as a starting point, reusing the arms, upper and lower torso, and legs from the boot up. Given that both characters are larger in stature and both feature a similar banded metal patter, the choice of re-use is inspired. In addition to these pieces, the figure also has brand new pieces for his head, hands, shins, and feet, as well as add-ons for the cape/shoulder-pads and the belt/loincloth/waist armor. The new pieces are really great sculpts. The head sculpt looks to have been lifted directly from the character’s comic appearances, and the armor pieces have some really wonderful denting and weathering. My only complaint is how loose the cape add-on is, as it causes it to sit incorrectly if you aren’t careful. The paintwork on Death’s Head is nice and clean for the most part. There’s a bit of bleed over here and there, but nothing too distracting. The metallic blues in particular make the figure really pop. Death’s Head is armed with an axe, a mace, and a shield, all of which are new pieces that look pretty great and fit the figure’s hands well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Deathlok and Valkyrie, Death’s Head was picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix. Like Valkyrie, Death’s Head is a figure that I’ve wanted since the initial rumors of his release started cropping up. I’m not entirely sure why I’m so interested in the figure. I’ve read maybe two or three of Death’s Head’s comic appearances. I guess something about the character’s design just resonates with me. Unsurprisingly for a character designed for a toyline-tie-in, Death’s Head translates really well to the action figure format and makes for a pretty neat toy.

DeathsHead2

#0299: Marvel’s Valkyrie

MARVEL’S VALKYRIE

AVENGERS INFINITE

Valkyre1

While Deathlok has just been granted a new lease on life by Agents of SHIELD, Valkyrie (or should I say “Marvel’s Valkyrie”) has not quite lucked out just yet. There’s certainly hope, I mean who though the Guardians of the Galaxy would be the next hit? So, here’s to Valkyrie getting her due! In the mean time, she was fortunate enough to get a figure in the most recent series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite. Perhaps her prospects are moving up!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ValkyreWilsonValkyrie was released in Series Three of Avengers Infinite. She was originally meant to be released in a three-pack with the Executioner and a Thor variant, which would have been one of the final releases in the Marvel Universe line. When the set fell through, Hasbro moved Valkyrie over to the new line. The figure stands about 4 inches tall and sports 29 points of articulation. She’s based on the most recent Valkyrie design, which she wore towards the tail end of the first volume of Secret Avengers. It’s not too different from her classic design. She just traded in the cape for some pants, which seems like a fair move on her part. For most of her sculpt, Valkyrie makes use of the larger female buck from the Marvel Universe line, which first saw use on She-Hulk. It’s a pretty good body, with fairly normal proportions and some pretty great articulation, so its use here is acceptable. Valkyrie gets a newly sculpted head and hands. The hands are fairly basic gripping hands. Nothing really new there. The head is the star piece here, and it’s a pretty great sculpt. It captures Valkyrie pretty well, and doesn’t look too spaced out, a definite step up from quite a few female face sculpts. Valkyrie is molded in appropriate colors where possible, with some painted details for the silver areas, as well as detail work on the face and hair. For the most part, the paint is applied cleanly, although there are a few instances of fuzzy lines and slop. Nothing too distracting, though. Valkyrie includes a sword accessory, which is quite well sculpted and fits in Valkyrie’s hands pretty well. The plastic used is a bit on the soft side, but it’s workable.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Valkyrie was picked up from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, along with yesterday’s Deathlok and a couple others a few weeks ago. Valkyrie is a figure I had wanted since she was initially announced in the MU three-pack, so I was pretty eager to get her. Valkyrie is a character that’s only seen a few figures, which makes it even more important for her figures to be decent. Fortunately, this one is a pretty great interpretation of the character and an all-around great toy!

Valkyre3

#0298: Deathlok

DEATHLOK

AVENGERS INFINITE

Deathlock

Ah, Deathlok. There’s a character I’m sure no one was expecting to see turn up as a recurring character on a prime-time show on ABC. I know some people were a bit disappointed by how he turned out in the show, but I enjoyed J August Richards’s performance as the character. As an added plus, it’s brought the character some more notoriety, which has translated to an action figure. And, umm, well, I like action figures…

THE FIGURE ITSELF

DeathlockWilsonDeathlok is part of the third series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite line, which serves as the replacement for Hasbro’s previous Marvel Universe line. He stands about 4 inches tall and features 26 points of articulation. He’s based on the classic Deathlok look, which was sported by the first two Deathloks. It’s built using one of the larger male bucks as a base, with a metal right arm and metal legs. It’s possible these pieces were used elsewhere, but I don’t know off-hand. The head is definitely new, and it’s a pretty great representation of everyone’s favorite half killing machine/half pacifist government controlled warrior. It’s perhaps a bit on the smooth side, but I’m willing to be slightly more forgiving at this scale. Deathlok also features sculpted add-ons for his belt (with holster) and his back pack, both of which do a pretty good job interpreting the design. The back pack is easily removable, but the belt and holster would take some creative thinking to remove. Deathlok is mostly molded in the appropriate colors. The torso and left arm are red plastic, the legs and right arm are silver, and the head is a brownish-orange. The rest is paint, and it all looks pretty good. All of the line work is sharp and clean, and there’s no real occurrence of bleed over or slop. Deathlok includes two guns: one smaller, one larger. As far as I can tell, both are new pieces. They both fit nicely in Deathlok’s hands, and the smaller gun can also be placed in his belt holster.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Deathlok from my local comicbook store, Cosmic Comix, along with a few other figures from the Avengers Infinite line. I had planned on getting a few of the figures in the series when they were initially announced, but they had actually slipped my mind. So, I was actually caught a bit by surprise. Deathlok is a character I might have passed over in previous years (I only have the Marvel Legends version because he included a piece of Galactus), but the character’s recent turn on Agents of SHIELD has sparked my interest enough to pick up this guy. He’s a pretty decent figure, and one I’m sure fans of the character will be happy with.

#0196: Marvel’s Wasp

MARVEL’S WASP

AVENGERS INFINITE

Wasp
Because I’m a fan of doing things in trios (this is based on no evidence. Don’t try and check that one), I’ve got one more Avengers review. This time around, it’s Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp, with whom even the more marginal Avengers fans are probably familiar. She’s the long-time significant other of Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man/Giant Man/ Goliath/ Yellow Jacket, and she’s a founding member of the Avengers.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Wasp was part of the first series of Avengers Infinite, Hasbro’s replacement for the Marvel Universe line. Jan’s had quite a few different looks over the years, and they’ve gone with her black and gold look that she had for most of the 00s. She’s a little under 3 ¾ inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Wasp is built on Hasbro’s most recent attempt at a base female body, I believe first introduced with Scarlet Witch. It’s an okay body, and it’s certainly an improvement on the initial offering, which we saw on Kitty Pryde. The arms a bit too short, and the legs are too long, but it’s an improvement, and Wasp2progress is progress, I suppose. She has a new head and add-on wings. These prices look nice, and the head is one of the nice female head sculpts that Hasbro has offered. It’s nice to see a female head with more than the usual blank stare we seem to always get. The paint is alright. It’s not quite as off-putting as the paint on Grim Reaper, but there are a few spots of slop. Wasp includes a smaller version of herself, which is a sculpt reused from one of the Secret Wars 2-packs from the MU line. It’s been repainted in a costume that matches the main figure’s look. It’s a fair accessory, and it’s nice that she got one at all.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like the previous two reviews, Wasp was purchased from Amazon. Currently, she’s the short-packed figure, which means she’s a little bit more expensive. I paid a little bit more than usual for her, but this is honestly the best figure of the character available. Not that she had much competition…

#0195: The Grim Reaper

MARVEL’S GRIM REAPER

AVENGERS INFINITE

GrimReaper

Continuing yesterday’s discussion of Avengers, I feel it goes without saying that I’m also a pretty big fan of most of the Avengers’ recurring villains. One of my favorites has always been The Grim Reaper! He just got a release as part of the first series of Hasbro’s Avengers Infinite, the line that is replacing their Marvel Universe line. For more info on The Grim Reaper, head over here.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Like I mentioned above, Reaper is part of the first series of Avengers Infinite. He’s based on the character’s second look, which is probably a good thing. His first costume was a bit of a mess. He stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 29 points of articulation. He’s on the body first seen with MU‘s Commander Rodgers figure. This is probably Hasbro’s best base body, so it’s good that they’re giving it some use. He also features a new head and lower right arm to give him his distinctive “Techno-Scythe,” plus add-on cape piece. His pieces are all well sculpted, though I think the head may be a bit under-sized. Regardless, it’s a good sculpt, and does seem to have the appropriate “menacing” look. The paint work is alright, but not without issue. The most noticeable problem is that the blue highlight is inconsistent from piece to piece, which is quite distracting, and makes the figure look odd.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Grim Reaper was purchased from Amazon at the same time as Black Knight. I really like Reaper, and he was actually the main villain of the very first issue of Avengers I ever got, so I was definitely excited to get him! I can honestly say it’s not a figure I really ever thought I’d see. Would it be too much to ask for zombie and first appearance versions?